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$2.59B of Taxpayer Funding Allows Students to Leave A and B Rated ISDs for Charters

There is no debate that every student deserves access to a high-quality taxpayer-funded education, nor should students have to attend low-performing schools. Currently, the Texas public education system offers a variety of taxpayer-funded school options, including neighborhood schools, magnet/specialty schools, virtual/online schools, and alternative schools.


The information below reviews the number of students transferring from their school district of residence to attend another school district or privately managed charter and summarizes the campus rating of students transferring from their school district of residence. The data shows that the overwhelming majority of ISD-to-charter transfers are not students fleeing from failing schools, rather 75.8% of transfers are from school district campuses with A and B Ratings.


Taxpayer-Funded School Choice in Texas – The Numbers:

  • 589,383 students, or 11% of all students in Texas public schools, attend publicly funded school options outside their school district of residence

  • 221,974 students attend school district campuses outside their school district of residence, equating to approximately $6.1 billion of taxpayer funding

  • 367,379 students attend privately managed charters

School District Campus Ratings of Charter Transfers:


Charters are currently the most popular form of taxpayer-funded school choice in Texas, enrolling 6.8% of all public school students.

  • 67.7% of charter transfers are from school district campuses with A and B Ratings, and 24.6% of such transfers attend charter campuses with lower ratings or no ratings

  • Only 8.5% of charter transfers (31,196 students) are from school district campuses with D and F Ratings. At the same time, charter transfers attending charter campuses with D and F Ratings are comparable, at 30,628 students.

Charter Funding By School District Campus Rating:

  • The state annually diverts $3.82 billion of taxpayer funding from school districts to provide families the freedom to “opt out” of their school district of residence to attend charters.

  • $2.59 billion of taxpayer funding is allowing students to transfer from school district campuses with A and B Ratings to attend charters


Data sourced from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Txschools.gov







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